Yes, we know we’re a little late, but happy 2016! Now, we won’t start asking the usual questions: Set any goals for the year? Turning over a new leaf? And you don’t even want to know what we think of New Years Resolutions! Suffice to say that we are more the esoteric-type when it comes to our goals for a new year (we keep our cards close to our chest), that, and the fact that we like helping others achieve their annual aim, a little magnanimity goes a long way in this day and age.
So – What To Do In 2016? Here’s a few fresh ideas and some novel approaches to all of our busy lives! ‘Fill Your Boots’ as they say, and don’t be shy to give us a shout – we’re a very handy bunch and we’re here to help.
The new disease…
Those control freaks among us know the satisfaction of crossing things off that never ending ‘to-do’ list. But it’s been confirmed: Busy is a disease. The assumption is ‘New Year, New You’ but odds are, you may have only had a few days off over the silly season, then it’s ‘hit the ground running’, straight back into the stressed pace of life. It seems rather an odd place to start a New-Year-article, but the world over, recommendation is: Slow Down.
The international movement: The Slow Movement tries to make us aware of how fast the clock is ticking and the fact that we are doing ourselves a disservice by trying to beat it. That’s where we come in, Stretch Structures staff compliment have over 15 years experience in the industry. We’ve aided and abetted just about every creative concept under the sun which makes us capable and, most importantly, reliable. Lucy Strong, Australia-based, cool-headed multitasker-of-note, adds: ‘We have gathered and assembled a team of people who you can trust with your project. Our talents range from project management, problem solving, creative input and all round superior customer service, so you can rest easy knowing your concept is in capable hands.’
Christine Hohlbaum, author of The Power Of Slow recommends ways of saving time in your day, saying: ‘Slow is actually faster, whilst fast is merely exhausting. You make smarter decisions while moving slower.’ That’s all very well, you may say, but how exactly do I go about slowing down? Experts say one of the key elements to a slower, less-stressed life is to be more organized and in that, they also mean prioritize and delegate: Is there someone else I can trust to do this job? Or ask yourself: Is it essential that I fold this last load of washing before I go to bed? Is it imperative that I cook supper every night? Or, is it an option to get each member of the family to cook on an appointed night of the week – we’ll still be able to sit down and enjoy the meal together – even if it is egg on toast. How about those lunch boxes the night before school? Lucky for you Pinterest is packed full of healthy, easy lunchbox ideas that they can pack for themselves. Specialists say the sooner they start doing things for themselves, the more independent and self-capable they will be in later life.
Padmaja Krishnan, Mumbai based textile designer chose to opt out of the fashion rat race: ‘I refuse to be a slave to trends or season; I take my time, let my creative juices flow and produce my merchandize by expressing myself. I end up making something that I am honestly proud of and it’s something that I created through an authentic process – a reflection of my genuine creative spirit.’
Put it down….
If you’ve heard it once, you’ve probably heard it a thousand times: Step away from your devices (yes, that’s plural). You may think it relaxing to scroll through Instagram when you have a few minutes spare but your brain doesn’t. Your brain is switched on from the time you open your eyes; get the family out the house in the morning; get to work; decide what to have for lunch; be prepped for that afternoon meeting – ie: the whole day. Do yourself a favour and switch off… if you take the train in to work, switch off your phone. If you are stuck in traffic, turn your playlist up and put your device down. If you’re waiting to pay at the market, keep your phone in your pocket and try a bit of eye contact and a friendly smile – it’ll go a long way and the response will brighten your day as well as someone else’s.
A contradiction in terms perhaps but one way to jump aboard the Slow Down Movement is to… move! The benefits of exercising are far reaching. Those endorphins not only improve overall mood but the physical process of exercising increases heart health and circulation and allows you to make clear, processed decisions. Taking an hour out of your day to exercise will give your brain time off, allowing you to make clear decisions come crunch time. One of the big changes in the corporate world is the introduction of the Wellness Representative. A designated person that helps individuals in the work place to get active, stay healthy and in turn, be more productive and efficient. Just another example of employers taking the overall health of their employees into consideration, knowing that a healthier staff compliment is happier one.
Canadian journalist Carl Honore wrote In Praise of Slow: How A Worldwide Movement is Challenging The Cult of Speed, that the key is to do things ‘not at a snails pace, but at the right pace…’